Four dead, 10 missing after heavy rainfall in Guangdong

China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-23 08:27
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Firefighters work at Jiangwan town of Shaoguan city, South China's Guangdong province, April 22, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

Heavy rainfall that pounded South China's Guangdong province for days has killed four people and displaced more than 53,000, authorities said on Monday.

Three deaths were reported in the city of Zhaoqing, while the fourth person to die was a rescuer in Shaoguan, where floodwaters trapped residents. Search and rescue operations are continuing for 10 others missing in Shaoguan and Qingyuan.

The downpours, which began on April 16, caused widespread damage. Houses collapsed, roads were blocked, and landslides occurred in the cities of Shaoguan, Guangzhou, Heyuan, Zhaoqing, Qingyuan, Meizhou and Huizhou.

Authorities relocated over 110,000 people, with 25,800 urgently resettled. The flooding also caused economic losses exceeding 140 million yuan ($19.8 million).

Rescuers are on their way to deliver food to people affected by the heavy rainfall in Lianjiangkou town, Yingde city of South China's Guangdong province, April 22, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Beijiang River, a major waterway in the province, reached flood stage Monday morning. Water levels at multiple stations surpassed alert levels.

While the national observatory predicts rain will ease in Guangdong, storms are expected to continue in southern regions, including parts of Fujian province.

The persistent rain has caused record-high precipitation in some areas.

Forecasters predict a 50 to 80 percent increase in rainfall across South and Southwest China compared to the same period last year.

Firefighters work at Jiangwan town of Shaoguan city, South China's Guangdong province, April 22, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

As of Sunday, water levels in 44 rivers in the Pearl River basin exceeded warning levels. The Pearl River is China's third-longest river and second-largest in terms of annual flow.

Authorities issued a yellow alert for rainstorms on Monday, the third-highest level in China's weather warning system.

Rescue workers are racing against time to locate the missing and clear debris. Telecommunication services were restored on Monday morning, and emergency repair vehicles reached affected areas.

Firefighters work at Jiangwan town of Shaoguan city, South China's Guangdong province, April 22, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

Heavy equipment began clearing debris on Sunday after landslides buried houses and blocked highways. Rescuers, including armed police and firefighters, reached affected areas on foot by midday Sunday.

Residents in low-lying areas were evacuated to safe shelters, and authorities distributed essential supplies by helicopter.

Local governments have ordered measures to prevent further flooding, landslides and other geological hazards in the coming days.

China Daily - Xinhua

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